Showing posts from January, 2017

CMU statemement about executive order on immigration

Concerned Archivists

Concerned archivists have formed a group. They are concerned that Trump and his administration will illegal dispose of information and not record or collect information correctly. They are concerned about facts which are rejected. They are concerned about funding cuts which may limit or stop our work collecting, preserving and providing access to reliable, fact-based information, not alternative facts.  Concerned Archivists are also against the Muslim ban resulting from collected data targeting one group. Read more about it here

Roman building remains found while searching for Roman roads

While using ground penetrating radar to search for Roman streets in an undeveloped park in Chichester, UK, archaeologists were stunned to discover the clear outlines of three nearly complete Roman houses and a third small building from the same period which were built along a street which no longer survives. A small dig confirmed the building remains. These remains will be further explored, perhaps excavated entirely, later. Further radar located a Roman street elsewhere in the park, which will not be excavated. What is most interesting about this find is that the Roman building remains are in an excellent state of preservation because they were buried until now. Locals dug sewers before the 1880s, destroying lots of history in the town. However, the location of the newly discovered Roman building remains was the location of a monastery, thus the name of the location, Priory Park. Because it was a monastery site nobody dug all over and into it for sewers, leaving the Roman remains u…

Leelanaw Enterprise

While processing the Probate Court series of MI Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Weaver's papers Brian S. found various issues of the Leelanaw Enterprise, a newspaper from Leelanaw County, from the 1970s and 1980s. Until now, we have had only 1 issue, Sept. 22, 1949, in our collections. This will fill out that issue nicely. I'm sure we are going to find more of these issues as processing continues.

China to crack down on unauthorized access to the Internet

China will crack down on its citizens unauthorized access to and use of the Internet. People with means have been using VPNs,Virtual private networks, to avoid limited access to the Internet, to prevent identification of the user, or to limit a government's ability to document what a user accessed or did online. China considers such actions to fight its control "disordered" and is beginning a 14- month campaign to increased its online controls and restrictions specifically against VPNs. Facebook, YouTube and other popular sites are blocked or severely restricted in China. Many businesses as well as individuals used VPNs to get around the blocks, to limit what confidential data is documented online, and to connect to business networks. China will now control permission to use VPNs and leased, dedicated lines, which, of course, the Communist Party will monitor and control. This is not the first time I have felt badly for the Chinese who are just trying to access informatio…

Mid Michigan Digital Practitioners next meeting

The Henry Ford’s Simmons Internship Program available for 2017 deadline March 10

Simmons Graduate Internship Program
The Henry Ford’s Simmons Internship Program is designed for current graduate students pursuing
careers in museums, historical agencies, conservation labs, or related fields. This internship
provides participants with a great opportunity to gain in-depth work experience in a major
American history museum.
Stipend and Terms of Internship
Simmons interns are awarded stipends for a minimum 12-week full time internship. Starting and
ending dates for individual internships are negotiable. The Simmons Internship Program is funded by
the Vera W. and Walter E. Simmons Endowment Fund.
Three internship opportunities are available for 2017. Applications should include:
• A letter of application, stating how your graduate studies, work and/or volunteer experience and
personal interests qualify you for the specific project
• A résumé
• Two letters of recommendation regarding your qualifications for the internship, submitted
directly by the authors
The deadline for application i…

ISIS destroys a Roman theatre's facade in Palmya

I thought ISIS had been routed out of Plamyra, yet they are still damaging historical, cultural, artistic treasures of the world.  The most recent victim, reported Jan. 20th, is the facade of the Roman theatre in Palmyra, Syria. Another cultural heritage building that endured centuries is now ruined. Such international cultural heritage destruction is horrible, terrible, such a waste and desecration. Read more about it here

1830 vellum indenture (deed) with seals and ribbons

Another interesting item I showed in class Tues night was the 1830 indenture (deed), 1830, of Joseph Logue. Here is the catalog description.   It is a lovely piece made of velum with ornate script handwriting on the main side. Pieces are sewn together with ribbons. It has original wax seals. There are visible holes in it along fold lines.

Here is the catalog description and some images.

Deed, dated May 1830, on three pieces of vellum sewn together with ribbon to make a two-page deed measuring 2 feet 5 inches wide and 2 feet 7 inches high. The script is lovely and was obviously done by a professional scribe for display purposes. The deed is written in standard legal language and follows standard legal protocol, providing a property description and a list of previous owners. 

It was signed by various members of the Walter family, with their attached seals, which are still intact but cracked, including William Walter of Philadelphia, a blacksmith, Aaron Stoops of Baltimore (Md.)…

archival CIA information released online by National Archives

Yesterday the CIA and NARA (National Archives and Records Administration) released 13 million pages of declassified documents via an online database. The records had been available since about 1995 on a few computers in the National Archives in Maryland during limited hours. The information includes documentation on UFO sittings, the papers of Henry Kissinger, intelligence analysis, scientific research and development, psychic evaluations including those of Uri Geller, and an invisible ink recipe.

The release online occurred after several years of activity seeking to make the pages available online by a journalist who paid NARA to print and scan documents one at at time via crowd funding in excess of $15,000 to make them more widely available, and a lawsuit against the CIA by a freedom information group called MuckRock.

This process follows established precedence. In the recent past, copies of declassified British WWII information from British archives were copied and taken to the Nati…

Respect du fonds

Last night I taught my class about the archival theory and concept of respect du fonds, a concept and practice of France, where they kept related series of archival French government record collections together (even tied together) as they were created by purpose, by the creator, for a purpose, and for retrieval and future use. For example all tax records together, by city, by year, for ease of storage and later retrieval. This is a practice dating to the Roman period, a pattern of record keeping which the Catholic Church and Catholic Europe continued, which has become part of modern archival theory. Respect du fonds is one of the big three theories on which all later archival theory is based, the other two being the concepts of original order and provenance.

These are copies in our Detroit (Mich.) Collection, 1672, 1858, of documents which were copied by hand from the French Archives, which is clearly stated on the documents. These are in French. They include materials by/about Frenc…